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Stay A Step Ahead Of The Weather


SiriusXM Marine satellite weather service has serious advantages over VHF marine forecasts and slick weather apps for smartphones.

Smartphones are a ubiquitous modern marvel, and recreational boaters typically have at least one of the many apps that offer real-time weather information. While most weather apps are excellent, the cellular signal starts rapidly fading just 2 miles offshore.

Satellite radio is a burgeoning industry. SiriusXM has 32 million subscribers who pay for commercial-free music in their car, home, or boat. What many don’t know is that SiriusXM Marine provides real-time weather and fishing information that can be overlaid directly on a chartplotter, so you can literally see the weather as it relates to your boat. And satellite-based technology does not require a cell signal, so boats 200 miles offshore can get accurate, timely, easy-to-understand weather data.

“It’s marine weather for the layman,” says Dan Dickerson, manager of marine and aviation product planning for SiriusXM.

With SiriusXM Marine, you can select your marine zone on the chart, pinpointing your exact location, and pull up the text of that radio broadcast allowing you to read it instead. Boaters can also see fronts moving toward them (updated every 4 minutes) and react accordingly, sort of like playing a video game.

“We’ve heard from customers who recounted two storm systems converging on them, and they were able to thread the needle between bad weather,” says Geoff Leech, Director of Marine Partnerships for SiriusXM Marine. Service packages range from $12.99 per month to $54.99 per month, with discounts for long-term service.

“Our service is a great value. For anyone who’s averted bad weather because of our data, it’s worth its weight in gold,” says Leech.

Unlike in your car, where you likely want audio entertainment year-round, SiriusXM realizes the seasonality to pleasure boating. The company offers seasonal suspension of service for up to six months, with no fees, no reactivation fees, no monthly or annual contract, and no penalty for cancelling.

For anglers, fishfinders display the water temperature under the boat via a transducer. SiriusXM’s Offshore Sea Surface Temperatures shows where the water temperature change is, which indicates where the bite is.

“The charter guys love us because they can guarantee their customers a good fishing trip,” Dickerson says.

Rich Armstrong

Senior Editor, BoatUS Magazine